Daegu: Russia`s Maria Abakumova upstaged world record holder Barbora Spotakova to win the women`s javelin title at the world championships on Friday.
Abakumova took gold with a championships record of 71.99 meters, the second-longest throw of all time. Czech Spotakova launched a season`s best 71.58 for the silver medal while South Africa`s Sunette Viljoen took the bronze with 68.38.
It was the first time two women had thrown over 71 meters in the same competition.
Abakumova was delighted to have triumphed in a titanic struggle at the Daegu Stadium and said at one point she feared injury might have kept her from even flying to South Korea.
"I was in a bad position before the championships. I was even thinking whether to fly to Daegu," she said.
"Almost for a month I had problems with my leg -- I could hardly walk. I was really afraid what will happen in the competition."
Spotakova, coached by men`s great Jan Zelezny, was proud to have been part of one of the best javelin competitions at a world championship.
"How can I describe this competition -- it was just crazy and amazing, there are not many competitions like this in athletics history," she said.
"To be honest, for a few moments I was a bit afraid for my world record. But my coach, Jan Zelezny thinks that I am still able to throw even further."
Christina Obergfoll of Germany once again failed to live up to her top billing and managed just 65.24 to finish in fourth place.